Lifting Pre-K Quality:Caring and Effective Teachers, a new report by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Texas, Houston, recommends the implementation of intensive teacher training and mentoring at the preschool level. It looks at the need to move from what it calls input-based strategies (i.e. requiring bachelor’s degrees for preschool teachers) to those have more evidence of improving outcomes for children. The report is generating much discussion.
Maggie Stevens from New America Foundation’s Early Ed Watch provides an excellent summary. She notes that the frank conversation around which approaches to improving program quality are proving successful, and which approaches simply aren’t successful enough are crucial if we want pre-k programs to help children reach their full potential.
The report concludes by saying, “Minimal health and safety standards are essential for children’s well-being. But advocates and policy makers must go further, recognizing that progress depends upon elevating the skills of teachers and enriching relationships and instruction inside classrooms.”